One of the two main characters always on stage. He is simplistic compared to his companion Vladimir. Called Gogo by Vladimir, the two men obviously have a close prior relationship. Estragon is generally inert; he is sleeping sitting, dozing and generally not moving. Estragon is noticeably forgetful compared Vladimir. Estragon and Vladimir differences, many speculate is what binds them together. English poet and critic wrote once “But perhaps Estragon’s forgetfulness is the cement binding their relationship together. He continually forgets, Vladimir continually reminds him; between them they pass the time.” Estragon is portrayed as a weak helpless character, often relying on Vladimir for protection. Estragon suffers the most physically. He is kicked by Lucky, takes numerous pratfalls, and is beaten by a gang of thugs every night. He also has great difficulty with his boots; he even leaves them in the road at the end of act 1. Though in the second act, he finds them in the same place now mysteriously fitting him. This boot focus (in terms of the character being foot centered) may be interpreted as being representative of his lower status. Estragon has a misanthropic view of humanity. He calls people “ignorant apes" and other names. However, he is very attached to Vladimir. Estragon is often seen as the child to Vladimir's adult, and as such looks for parental security in him.
Vladimir is the second of the two main characters. He is obviously much more philosophical than Estragon and represents the intellectual side of the two main characters. He often looks to the sky, musing about religion or philosophy while Estragon is preoccupied with more mundane matters. Vladimir is moves far more often than Estragon, often pacing or walking while Estragon is seated. Vladimir is more concerned with appearance than Estragon, often making sure that Estragon looks presentable to protect his dignity. Vladimir has the only social conscience represented in the play and sympathizes with the plight of others. He expresses outrage at Pozzo's treatment of his slave, Lucky, and acts as something of a parental figure to the sometimes childish Estragon. Vladimir also hates dreams, as they represent a cruel false hope, and he is unable to cope with Estragon's logic, the simplicity of which throws him off. He also does not suffer fools well: Pozzo's decadence and Estragon's crudeness give him much cause for indignation. But, as a whole, he is by far the most mature character in the play. As Estragon is focused on the boot showing his lower status, Vladimir is often toying with his hat as to represent higher status.
Pozzo appears to be pompous, even foppish, aristocrat cruelly using and exploiting those around him, namely his slave Lucky and occasionally Estragon. He wears very 'fancy' clothes (similar to those of Vladimir, though in much better condition) and an over coat that he generally makes his slave Lucky carry. Pozzo could be seen as an antagonist. He is not a villain, per say, but he causes quite a bit of chaos within Estragon and Vladimir. He feels the need to yell to assert his authority over Estragon and Vladimir, and is physically and mentally abusive to Lucky. However, he has the tendency of falling to pieces at the drop of a hat, in the most literal of senses. Pozzo has minor nervous breakdowns when things don't go his way. Pozzo goes through a rather radical transformation between the first and second act; he becomes blind. When he makes his second entrance, he almost immediately falls over and cannot get up and remains inert this way through the rest of the scene. Some critics interpret this as representing his failure to see the suffering in others, and thus has suffering upon himself.
Lucky is Pozzo's slave, and only utters two lines in the play. Lucky suffers at the hands of Pozzo willingly and without hesitation. He is tied to Pozzo by a very long rope in the first act, and then a similarly very short rope in the second act. When he is not serving Pozzo, he usually stands in one spot drooling or sleeping, if he stands there long enough. His props include a picnic basket, a coat, and a suitcase full of sand that Pozzo forces him to carry at all times. Pozzo prompts the one monologue that Lucky has when the title characters ask him to make Lucky "think". He asks them to give him his hat: when Lucky wears his hat, he is capable of thinking. The monologue is mainly rambling, with some subtle crude humor and some rather deep comments on the arbitrary nature of God, man's tendency to pine and fade away, and towards the end, the decaying state of the earth.
The boy has few lines in the play, and not even a proper name. He is apparently a servant boy of Godot's. He acts as a messenger who arrives near the end of each act to inform Vladimir and Estragon that Mr. Godot will not arrive. Timid and fearful, he addresses Vladimir as Mr. Albert and admits in the first act that Pozzo and his whip had frightened him and kept him from entering sooner. He claims that he tends goats for Mr. Godot and that Godot is good to him, though he admits that Godot beats the boy's brother. On each visit the boy claims to have not seen Vladimir and Estragon before.
Godot never appears in the play, but Vladimir and Estragon insist on waiting for him despite the fact that he doesn't make an appearance. Many have speculated him to be a god figure, since his name resembles as such. Beckett once said to Peter Woodthorpe that he regretted calling the absent character ‘Godot’, because of all the theories involving God to which this had given rise. “I also told [Ralph] Richardson that if by Godot I had meant God I would [have] said God, and not Godot. This seemed to disappoint him greatly. ”That said, Beckett did once concede, “It would be fatuous of me to pretend that I am not aware of the meanings attached to the word ‘Godot’, and the opinion of many that it means ‘God’. But you must remember – I wrote the play in French, and if I did have that meaning in my mind, it was somewhere in my unconscious and I was not overtly aware of it.”Home